Retired UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov has issued a verbal attack on President Emmanuel Macron following his comments surrounding the recent terror attacks in France, with a controversial Instagram post calling for “the Almighty to disfigure the face of this creature”.
Khabib is a practicing Muslim from the Republic of Dagestan, and has regularly spoken about the impact of his faith on his life and career in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.
But he took aim at President Macron on Friday with an Instagram post that featured a boot print over the face of the French leader, along with a strongly-worded passage that was written in Russian and Arabic, along with a passage from the Quran.
He wrote: “May the Almighty disfigure the face of this creature and all its followers, who, under the slogan of freedom of speech, offend the feelings of more than one and a half billion Muslim believers. May the Almighty humiliate them in this life, and in the next. Allah is quick in calculation and you will see it.
“We are Muslims, we love our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) more than our mothers, fathers, children, wives and all other people close to our hearts. Believe me, these provocations will come back to them, the end is always for the God-fearing.”
Khabib added verse 33:57 from the Quran, which said: “Indeed, those who revile Allah and His Messenger, Allah cursed in this world and in the Hereafter and prepared for them humiliating torments.”
Khabib’s post received more than 800,000 likes within an hour of being published, with the pound-for-pound No 1 fighter in the UFC having 25m followers on his Instagram attack.
The former UFC champion’s outburst comes after Macron gave a speech before the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty, who was attacked close to his school earlier this month after shocking cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to his students. Eighteen-year-old Abdullakh Anzorov was shot dead by police after the attack, and seven people were detained in the days since the killing.
Speaking the day before the attack, Macron said: “Islam is a religion which is experiencing a crisis today, all over the world.”
He added that there was a need to “free Islam in France from foreign influences”, which has sparked protests against the French president in Asian countries in recent days.
Since the attack, Macron has defended the country’s secularity and he is set to introduce plans that will end Imams travelling overseas to train, reduce homeschooling and allow the government to take control of religious funding in an effort to promote an “Islam des Lumieres” (Islam of Enlightenment).
He added: “Our challenge is to struggle against the downward slide of some in the name of religion, by ensuring that those who want to believe in Islam and are full citizens of our Republic are not targeted.”
In a defence of France’s freedom of expression, Macron said: “We will not give up caricatures and drawings, even if others back away.
“Our citizens are waiting for us to act. Dozens of operations have been launched against associations, and also individuals who support a plan of radical Islamism, in other words an ideology to destroy the (French) Republic.”
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